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What does "handsome" actually mean?

For some reason this just hit me, but, what exactly does "handsome" really mean?

It seems to me that cute, beautiful, hot, these all seem rather easily explained, but I've never really understood why "handsome" in particular was ever preferred.

So, I googled the origins of handsome, and this is what I found: "By Middle English, the Old English plural handa was changed to handen, which later became hands. It was around this time, approximately 1350-1400, that handsome appeared. The original sense was of something 'easy to handle, ready at hand,' which led to the word being used in some contexts to mean 'suitable, apt.' By 1577 this had become 'fair-size, considerable,' meaning that it took all of one's hand to use or wield it. It wasn't until the very end of the 16th century that the modern definition of 'having fine form or quality, good-looking' took effect. Handsome, meaning 'generous' (a handsome reward) was not recorded until a full century later."

So, handsome technically just means generous? As in, physical generosity? Generously attractive?

What causes you to say whether someone is handsome as opposed to any other descriptive?
What does "handsome" actually mean?
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